NEW YORK CITY — Two men arrested Friday in connection with the beating of two gay men near the 33rd Street PATH station have been released on $5000 bond a piece, authorities said.
Asllan Berisha, 21, and Brian Ramirez, 21, both of Manhattan, were charged with two counts of assault and two counts of harassment each, according to a criminal complaint. They were not charged with a hate crime.
Police said the victims were approached by Berisha, Ramirez and other men after the couple were denied access to an after-hour billiards hall on West 32nd Street at about 5 a.m. on Friday. The group then shouted gay slurs and attacked the two men, officials said.
Ramirez and Berisha punched one of the victims in the face, cops say.
The victims tried to get away, but the mob followed them to a location next to the PATH station on 33rd Street, where the attack continued, cops said.
Officers say Berisha then dragged one man across the street by the leg, according to court papers. Ramirez stomped on the other victim's chest, cops said.
The other assailants escaped on foot, authorities said.
Officials said the victims were transported to Bellevue Hospital, where they were treated for severe facial injuries. One of the victims underwent eye surgery as a result of the attack.
Port Authority police are working with the NYPD to determine if there is any connection between Friday's attack and the beating of two gay mean near Madison Square Garden on Sunday, which is being investigated as a possible hate crime.